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Women’s role in water resource management and irrigation stressed

Women’s role in water resource management and irrigation stressed

KARACHI: “The Sindh Assembly needs to pass the Sindh Water Management Ordinance (SWMO) with amendments as women have no visible role in the water resource management and irrigation system in Sindh, and they too must be included in SWMO. The amendment bill will have women participate, identify issues as well as make decisions.”

This was stated by MPA Rana Ansar during a consultative dialogue on SWMO Amendment (Act) 2018 organized by Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) in collaboration with the Commission on Status of Women in Sindh (CSWS) at a local hotel here on Tuesday.

Also present on the occasion was MPA Sharmila Farooqi, who said that the Sindh government supported the amendments to the SWMO. “This is the beginning of an opportunity for women farmers to participate in the irrigation system, and to recognize the integral role of women in agriculture. They must be included in the structure of SWMO,” she said.

While congratulating MPA Rana Ansar, who took up this amendment for the bill, she said that they were very important amendments.

Regional coordinator of SPO Pirbhu Satyani shared that in 2017, SPO conducted a policy gap analysis of the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) Act 1997 and SWMO 2002 where it was found that women were not part of any structure such as farmer organizations, watercourse association or area water board despite their being directly involved in agriculture and water management at the local level.

He said that amendments to the SWMO would include women in water governance and ensure their say in decision-making bodies. He said that the purpose of this consultative workshop was to brief policy legislators and get their support in passage of amendments from the Sindh Assembly.

Chairperson of the CSWS Nuzhat Shirin said that all parliamentarians of Sindh supported the bill, and all parties were lobbying to pass it. “Women should take more interest in participation in every field,” she said. “There isn’t any representation of women in SWMO and through this bill, women can be part of water resource management,” she added.

Newspaper: Dawn

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